By C. Harold Pierce
It all started going downhill a few years ago when Seth Macfarlane insisted on constantly cutting away to grainy seven minute interludes of Conway Twitty plucking on his guitar and singing in a nasal twang.
In one instant, you would be watching Stewie and Brian Griffin time traveling throughout history while battling Nazis, and in the next, you had completely forgotten the plot.
It was as if Macfarlane was testing his audience to see how far he could push it. Testing us to see if we’ll continue watching the cult classic of our adolescent years. But this time, Mcfarlane has gone too far.
Killing off a character as well-developed and likeable as Brian from the Family Guy series is unheard of.
Sure, some may argue that even The Simpsons creator Matt Groening killed off Snowball I, the Simpsons family pet, and replaced him with another, but Snowball I never talked, went on adventures with Bart or helped advance plots.
Macfarlane’s decision to kill Brian, however eloquently as it was handled in the episode, was a mistake. It is a sad and pathetic shock factor for a ratings boost at a time when most viewers were losing interest in the show.
Viewers can only handle so many Twitty cutaways and entire episodes devoted to Peter and a chicken beating the hell out of each other.
The exciting element of Family Guy is that it usually sacrificed a clear plot in exchange for clever, silly and sometimes raunchy humor that crossed the line. In recent episodes, it has lacked both. But killing off a beloved character is not a way to rectify that.
If Macfarlane wanted to kill off a character to drum up ratings, he should have selected a useless character. Like Meg.